The Santa Cruz River is a great place to bike, walk, and see some wildlife.

But unfortunately, due to littering and illegal dumping, it can also be an eyesore.

Enter volunteers with the Watershed Management Group, who spent their time after work and school cleaning up their community.

Trash is strewn everywhere at this part of the Santa Cruz River near Irvington Road.

Among the volunteers are the Keelen family, a family of four who is proving that picking up garbage is fun for everyone.

We see trash all over town, it makes my daughter and all of us mad,” Kate Keelen shared. “But thats too easy, to sit around being mad, so we come and do some good.

Kate Keelen adds its a great way for her kids to connect with nature.

Its so lovely down here, the temperature is great, theyre exploring more than picking up trash but thats great too,” She said.

Karla Candelaria is with the Watershed Management Group’s River Run Network. Since 2019, the City of Tucson has pumped water back into the Santa Cruz, which she says makes these cleanups as important as ever.

Its great to see the rivers come to life with the re-charge of the water,” Candelaria expressed. “I think the best thing to do is try to keep them healthy.

The River Run Network holds monthly cleanups, see an upcoming schedule at their website.